There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 10 May 2022 10:00
Just listen. Guest Margaret Killjoy.
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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. We love your plant, Sophie. Everyone loves your plant. Listeners, people on the Internet, find Sophie on Twitter and tell her you like her plant. It's a Ravens easy and it brings me so much happiness. It does. It's my goth plant. It's a good plant. It seems very goth. It's like that song. That's something goth. The black parade. That song was pretty goth right from from when? When I was in high school. That seems goth. Yeah, it was like that, Margaret. I'm not laughing at your choice. How you doing? I was not my choice. That was just like the one song. When I think about, like goth stuff from high school, that was a song. That's the only thing I remember. I you know, I actually have. I know there must be other. My pop culture. Yeah. As soon as I left high school. I did not notice a pop culture for 10 years. And I was way too elite of a goth at that time to do be. Even listening to goth for my own era, I was far more interested in Sisters of Mercy. See, I've never even heard of that, but I was never gone. I was never into that stuff. I was just adjacent to it because the goth kids were also the kids you were most likely to be able to play DND with. So yes, yeah. That's that's how I caught. Also, this is behind the ********. And we're here with Margaret Killjoy. This is a podcast about people you can play DND with when you are in high school. Like Margaret Eldridge from Sisters of Mercy. Yeah. Pretty good DND person. Hey, I wish. I mean, yes, yes. Margaret? How do you feel about like what is it 5th EDITION versus? I'm still a Pathfinder, you know, Pathfinder guy? Like I never got past 35. It gave me everything I wanted in terms of rules. I actually like 5-5 more than 3.5. I wasn't expecting that to be the case. I thought 3.5 felt done and then 4th edition was obviously a nightmare and I started playing 5E and it's my favorite Dungeons and Dragons and I can elitists only claim to be playing since. AD&D? Yeah, that was my first generation was a D&DI do remember thaco. By the way, this is also, again behind the ********. And we're here. What do we what do we? What is our what is our job here? Are we not talking about D&D? Today, alright, well but we but we are talking with Margaret Codroy who who who is the newest person on our network. Cool zone media. That's right. That's right. Yeah we have, we have contractually locked you in to to producing content and and entering the death spiral of content creation for podcasts. Hooray. I was going to say I'm really thrilled and very happy, but OK, I'm always gonna call it a death spiral because it is. Margaret, how are you liking the spiral? I, you know, all of life is a death spiral. That's right. That's right. You just you choose which spiral to to go down. Yeah. It's like a water park. Yeah. Or yeah. Or a toilet. Yeah. I mean, toilets and water parks, very similar in a number of ways. So yeah, we'll, we'll, we'll, we'll move on. Margaret? How do you feel about people being harassed by the Internet until they commit suicide? Generally negative. Yeah. That was a bad. That was a bad. Yeah. That's not my not my favorite thing that's ever happened to anyone. It's not. It's like, it's really, I think at this point, everyone here has seen what happens when people come into the crosshairs of a digital hate mob, right? Like, it's like a daily occurrence on the Internet now. And yeah, so I think there is kind of some. Resilience that's been built up like a like, we've all kind of been vaccinated from Gamergate. So I think maybe people are a little more prepared for it now than they used to be. But if you remember, like Gamergate times, especially 2013, fourteen, when these mobs started going after these women who were like video game reviewers and stuff and how like it, it felt really unprecedented. And it was just like this, this bizarre, horrible thing that we all started to realize was going to be with us forever. Yeah, it's. It's it's it's a problem and it's a problem that has. Continues on. Like, it's one of those things normally, like, people talk pretty openly about, like, oh, who's the main character on Twitter today, you know, who's being, like, harassed or whatever today? But there's like, and that's kind of the side of it, I guess, when I'm talking about, like, there's been some kind of immunity built up. That's the side of it where there's like, Oh yeah, you just know that, like, every now and then, if you have any kind of prominence on the Internet, you know, you could wind up getting, like, yelled at or made fun of or whatever for a period of time. And that's just something, right? Especially if you're going to be making things for the Internet. You just accept it. But even though it's gotten a little more standardized, there's still this really tremendously deadly underbelly to it. Up until June of 2021, near was a well loved developer of emulators near, also known as BU. BYU was non binary as well as autistic. These characteristics made them an ideal target of a website called Kiwi Farms. Do you know anything about Kiwi Farms, Margaret? No. This sounds like the kind of nightmare stuff that I've avoided. Successful until this moment. That's a good thing to do. It's a good thing to avoid. In brief, Kiwi Farms is a forum where people gather information on and harass individuals they call lol cows. The name comes from the fact that the behavior of these people, specifically their reactions to harassment, provide an endless font of lols like a cow provides milk, right? That's why they what they that's how they're looking at this, like we have this, like, stable of people who we can kind of prod and poke intermittently to, like, make us laugh. Umm, that's the add. Healthy? Yeah, it's yeah, it's it sounds good. It sounds like a lot of people who are doing well in life and emotionally. So one of New Year's friends wrote a Google Doc explaining what Kiwi Farms did to near who seems to have been targeted for the same reason predators usually pick their targets. Near had been abused before and they were seen as kind of vulnerable quote and this is from from one of their friends not to be defeated in their pursuit of utter emotional and psychological destruction they went after. Who near treasured most their friends. Doxing some, directly harassing others, and even specifically seeking out suicidal people to target that broke near. After falling down a spiral of depression and eventually breaking off contact with everyone last year, I feared for the worst. Eventually they were luckily able to get help and found medication that helped them cope with the psychological scars of abuse. In late 2020. I first heard from near again in late October 2020, and we even started having chats. It seemed things were getting better. Unfortunately, medication can be a fickle beast. It didn't work forever, the looming threat of Kiwi farms, of their power to destroy, not just near. But also their friends caused them daily anxiety that just wouldn't go away. Worried that their friends would feel burdened by their condition again, near decided to avoid the subject. I only found out about this relapse today to the people of Kiwi farms. This is a video game that people on the other side of the screen are real. Makes no difference that a light in the kill counter going up just like an FPS player would. Lacking any empathy, they have no regard for the damage they inflict on others. So, as you might have guessed, near committed suicide in June of 2021. Kiwi Farms denied having anything to do with the suicide or of encouraging harassment against near. It's worth noting that near is the third person in recent years who suicide has been blamed to some extent on relentless harassment from Kiwi farms. So today we're going to talk about where Kiwi farms comes from. They're not the primary subject of our episode though. We will be talking about their very first victim and and not just their very first victim. We're going to be talking about the person. I think is probably the first victim of concerted online harassment, like the first person that this happened to in any kind of sizable way. And that person is a I guess you'd call them an Internet content creator named Chris Chan. Or at least that's the name she kind of has picked for herself. The first the first victim of like, gamified abuse. And cool, yeah. Yeah. Do you know anything about this person I know I don't. I know a lot about people harassing people on the Internet and it causing real life impacts and bomb threats and doxxing and all that stuff. So Chris Chan is where that playbook started getting sketched out for the first time. Chris Chan has been kind of continuously harassed for something like 20 years now. Is it has been going on a tremendously long time. And, and I should note, Christian is not a good person and not a sympathetic person like they are to blame for not the harassment, but for a lot of the unpleasantness in their life because they've made a lot of horrible choices. I should note here that recently, uh, since about 2017, we'll get into this. Chris Chan identifies as Christine as well as Christian. They still use both names, OK, but they identify as Christian. Christina, they have transitioned. We'll be gendering her properly even when we discuss her early life, and when I read quotes from other people talking about her, I'm going to do my best to not misgender her. Even when they do, we will still call her Chris Chan as well as Christine, because again, she still identifies as Chris Chan. And social media. So I think that's fine. Yeah. But yeah. So she was born on Christine Chandler, who was born on February 24th, 1982 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA Her father, Bob, worked as an engineer at Western Electric. He was apparently a very gifted one, and he held patents for 9 different inventions. Over the course of his career, he collected classic jazz music and stamps. Her mother, Barbara, was a secretary at Virginia Power. She and. Bob both had estranged children from other marriages prior to getting together. Barbara is alleged to have been abusive and we know her 17 year old's son I think emancipated himself before Christine was born. Bob had two kids who were not really in his in his life. So both of these people had like were fairly old when they had Christine and had kids that they had kind of either abandoned or who had been like I don't want anything to do with you so. Maybe not great parents. Probably not. I don't know everything about their circumstances, but, you know, like if you have three kids and none of them want anything to do with you, that's maybe not the best side. Yeah, that side. Yeah, Barbara was and is she is still alive, a massive hoarder. Christine's childhood was always going to be challenging. You know, this is a lot already. We've discussed a significant amount to kind of go into as a baby. At one point, Bob built a workshop for him and his child to make things in together. He was very excited about, like, oh, you know, I'm gonna, we're gonna have all these projects together, and they never got to use it because Barbara just, like, filled it up with junk. She just is this kind of like, that kind of breaks my heart. There's really some more than you know. Yeah. Father daughter crafting time. Yeah. Yeah. But but Barbara just, like, can't not collect **** which is a thing that Christine will inherit. Inherit maybe the wrong word, but we'll wind up doing as well. You know, Christine claimed years later that she spoke her first word. Monkey at two months old, which is likely not possible. She lies a lot about things, you know. She makes up a lot of stuff. Don't think kids can say, uh, speak at that at that earliest date. I've known a couple of two-month olds and sure and are so familiar with the concept of monkey that it's also how would making random noises you know they like. I don't know. I'm not an expert in child speech development, but well, I am and OK, no, I am not. Well, that's your previous job before this. Yeah, I'm an expert at ****. Talking little kids because they can't talk back. They don't know how to talk. It's real easy. Does that mean you use up your one lie on them like right away? Yeah, immediately, immediately. But you just have to, like, keep it going for the rest of your life. I did have, I had a person who I'm very close to their uncle. The lie that he told her was that Star Trek the next generation was real and that was, yeah, that what she was like 6. And then yeah, which is a nice lie. I think if you get to believe for a while that all those people are really up there, that's not a mean one. I actually might prefer that to Santa Claus. Yeah, let's just convince little kids at the start that the the Starship Enterprise is out there. And then at age 10, you sit them down and tell them that there's no joy in the world. And yeah, they have to. They have to. Yeah, there's no replicators. Yeah, there's nothing. Sorry. That would break kids in an interesting new way. Yeah. Yeah, that's what we need more of. Yeah, well, you gotta break them some way, right? That's what we do to kids. Do you? That's what we do. And therefore it must, apparently. Sophie. Yeah, I don't know. I don't have kids, because it seems like it's easy to **** that up. So Speaking of which, back to our story of Christine Chandler. So Christine says that after speaking her first word at two months old, she did not say another word for six years. She does have autism. The medical papers are available online, a ton of her. She has posted a ton of like her papers on this, but she gets into these like online arguments and we'll like post things to prove stuff she's saying. So that that is, this is not a case of like a self diagnosis, this is someone who has like a medical diagnosis. And that part is credible, the idea that maybe she didn't say anything until she was six. It is not uncommon for people with autism to have kind of a delay of like when they start speaking, when they're kind of language abilities come in and stuff. You know, that's that's not an uncommon thing. Now, obviously we're not particularly good as a society at taking care of autistic children now or any children, but particularly children with autism in the mid 1980s were the ******* Wild West for that like. It was, uh, just an incredibly brutal time to to be a kid with autism. It was not even added to the DSM until 1980. It was not until 1987 that the diagnostic criteria was expanded to allow a diagnosis of symptoms became apparent after 30 months of age and most kids are over 2 years old when they are diagnosed. So a lot of yeah, ****** ** stuff kids are dealing with who are born around the time that Christina is now the papers that we have showing a diagnosis for her. Are from 2004. She claims to have been diagnosed for the first time at around age 5 or 6. If so, this would have happened right around the earliest time that such a diagnosis would have been possible. Christine claims the Doctor Who diagnosed her was a speech therapist at James Madison University. This doctor told her parents she had high functioning, which is not a term we use any more autism, and would never make it to high school or even be able to write her own name. And of course, Christine went on to do both of these things. I don't know how accurate that is, but it's certainly not out of line with other stories you hear from kids who were, you know, going through the education system with this at the same time. So, uh, when Christine was very young, she was placed alone with a babysitter she describes as abusive. The specific abuse she discusses as being locked in her toy room after having all of the lights turned off as an adult, she consistently describes this experience as traumatic. Her parents continued to use the babysitter after this point. Christine believed this is what gave her autism, which obviously is not the case, but I believe she had some traumatic experiences with adults. Walking her away, you know and and stuff. So in 1990 to 1991 school year, Christina's parents pulled her out of class for unknown reasons. She claims now that she was forcibly restrained by the school principal in a quasi sexual manner. She also claims the principal was homosexual and that this is what inspired Christina's decades long homophobia. It is unclear exactly what happened here. Christine is very Christian and very has been was for most of the time. He was people knew anything about her. Incredibly bigoted against gay people. So hard to say if this is like what happened here exactly. But there was apparently a court case over the matter. However, the actual court case that we have documentation on was not based in any sort of assault and was instead the county trying to have Christine sent to a special school. So some of what she's saying may have just been resentment over this whole thing she was going through with the school. It is very hard to say, Christine. Was home schooled during the 5th grade. Because of all of this, whatever actually happened, she winds up being home schooled for a year. The family eventually left their hometown and relocated to Richmond over this issue. In 1993, when Christine was eleven, she entered a Sonic the Hedgehog contest at KB Toys and won a shopping spree. Local news coverage? Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's actually video footage of interesting because yeah, yeah, the kind of thing that when I was 11 in 1993, I probably would have made-up that I had done. No, no, she know this. We know this happened. Yeah. OK. And it was like my dream when I was eleven. Yeah, it's every. I mean, who wouldn't have wanted a KB toy shopping spree in 1993? Like, and have one Sonic the Hedgehog and. And have. Yeah, one of Sonic the Hedgehog contest. The coolest kind of contest. Yeah, there's video of this. That's awesome. OK. Unfortunately, the video is mostly like, it's mostly people making fun of her because she's, you know, kind of like an awkward, nerdy kid winning a contest and very excited and very happy, but she's clearly overjoyed. In the footage, which is which is great, it's nice to know that she had a nice moment in her life. Yeah, this seems to have sparked a lifelong fascination with Sonic the Hedgehog. She will be obsessed with Sonic for the rest of her life, up to the present day to a degree that becomes very problematic. I think it's. I'm gonna find out later, aren't I? Yeah. It's it's not great. It's not great. I think maybe it has something to do with the fact that, like, in a really difficult and largely unpleasant childhood, this is like a shining moment for her. And so she kind of latches on. Yeah. Yeah. To this. Yeah. It's pretty bleak, Margaret. There's not going to be a lot of happy moments. Thing is kind of just heartbreaking because she's a very easy, self insert character. Oh, God, yeah. At this point, she's nothing but a kid who's been unfairly. Harmed by every single person who should be taking care of her. Yeah, yeah, it's pretty bad. Uh, it's pretty bad. So in middle school, uh, if this will be the least surprising thing we say today. Christine had difficulty with bullies. Yeah. Not not super surprising. And and it was, you know, the, she has, for I think, understandable reasons, a really, really, really aggressive temper. And the particular way that kids would **** with her was by setting her off so that she would have these kind of emotional explosions and then she would get in trouble. Yeah. You know, I think if we haven't been that person. In our childhoods, we knew a couple of kids who were dealing with versions of that. Yeah, the only kid who was worse bullied than me was the one that you could set off like that, you know? Yeah, yeah. You either, like, react that way to try to scare people off, or you develop the ability to just kind of turtle up and pretend you're not affected by it at all. Yeah, and and Christine, you know, is the explosive type. She did have a very good teacher during this time who actually understood her and was able to help her get along in class with other kids. When she graduated middle school, this teacher wrote her a note. And again, the note, like Christine posts the note later, like, this is the thing that we like that you can see it and the note says quote. The most important parting words I can leave you with well, are to always remember this. You show people where your weak points are located, then they will know how to push your button. If you never show them, they will never know. OK, that's this teacher's advice, which I can't say is bad advice. No, yeah, you gotta be like next level to like. I wouldn't have been able to do as a teenager, but you know, my favorite trick is pretending to show people where my weak spots are and then just being like, just kidding, I'm completely untouchable. **** you. Yeah, but that doesn't like showing your belly doesn't work in middle school. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. All of the anti bullying advice I ever got was entirely garbage. Yeah, I I have. I have literally never heard good advice for kids of that age on how to deal with bullying and I don't think it exists. Yeah, I think the only actual thing to do is stop kids from bullying. Yeah, yeah, kind of on everyone but the child in that situation to figure out how to deal with it, yeah. I don't know. Yeah, you know who doesn't? Bully. I I don't feel confident answering this. We're not doing this right now, am I not? I mean, I mean, you can, but I'm just horrible at transition. Look, when? When? Kidnaps children and puts them on an island off the coast of Indonesia to be haunted by the global 1% weight. If I say bullying, well, it gets censored. It. Yeah. I mean, maybe we're we're kind of like half and half on it. Oh no. I'm saying this so that you could censor when I say, yeah, absolutely, yeah, we can believe him this time. Yeah. So obviously it's not bullying to hunt children for sport on an island off the coast of Indonesia. That's just, you know, it's not like it's not bullying to hunt a deer, you know, it's just, well, if you're hunting children for food. I feel like there's a different set of ethics there. I mean, Elon Musk is definitely like a use every part of of of the child that you hunt with a bow off the coast of Indonesia. Probably the way. It's like, I take it back, hunting for sport is better, yeah. Just be evil. Just admit you're evil. It's better, yeah? Speaking of administering the at, no, I mean just like. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family, and it meant family start at 2 lines. 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I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. That was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's SP. RE aker.com, get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. Ah, we're back. Boy. Howdy. Lots of good stuff is happening to our lots of good real real bad stuff. Bad. This is, this is, I think, this is. I would not go into detail about someone experiencing something like this if it was not kind of necessary for understanding the whole story of like why they become the person that this architecture of harassment gets built around. And so unfortunately it is kind of necessary, although it is quite bleak. Part of why I feel a little better about saying it is that we know. Most of this because Christine has, like, repeatedly posted it and discussed it and, like, provided original documents. Yeah. So this is just going exactly against the teacher's advice. Oh God, yeah, they she does not take one one bit of this advice. Which, you know, I mean anyway, yeah, yeah. So Christine had a number of female friends as a child. Uh, some of them were suddenly abusive. 1 early friend who lived nearby convinced her to crawl under the house into a heating duct and then locked her inside. Christine again, this is pre transition and stuff and is is she's really desperate to be like. To have like a a girlfriend basically a social to date or to be one of the girls I think to date today because I mean maybe there is some of that like it's I'll say that as a trans girl who dates mostly, mostly women it's blurry. Yeah. The desire to be one of the girls and to date the girls is all confused up. Yeah. And I think at this. It is really blurry because she definitely. Really takes a lot of particular joy in hanging out with like, groups of of girls at the school. And some of it's also probably just that, like, they're less likely to the extent that they make fun of her or harass her. It's like, not obvious in the way that, like, when boys do it, like, she knows what's being done, it's clear that someone's attacking her and I guess if you don't know that people are, like, making fun of you, that's a more pleasant situation than knowing, yeah, until you find out, right? Like, until the kid, until you get locked in a heating duct. Yeah, yeah, it's very sad. She revealed later that she had another female friend who her father paid to hang out with her in order to make her look normal. Which is school boy again, parents of the year here. Like you, like, tried, he tried. It's not how we should have tried. It's not how we should have tried. I don't know, like, it's it's he seems like he's kind of like a weird engineering dude who was not at all prepared to have a kid with the kind of needs that Christine had. And. Yeah, yeah, I guess he tried he tried to solve it like an engineering problem. Yeah. Yeah. That said, you know, there is a lot of kind of mockery, but I think it it does seem like Christine had actual friends who she called her gal pals, and some of them did care about her. And I think there were there were some who kind of recognized that she's being victimized and wanted to provide her with some support. So in high school, she does kind of build a little community for herself. It was in high school that that Christine started developing an increasingly elaborate fantasy world. This started with a school project where she had to create cartoon characters for a story. The characters couldn't be copyrighted, so she merged some of her favorite characters together, creating a mix of Sonic and Pikachu called Sonichu. She fell in love with this character and started incorporating it into a variety of cartoon art that she seemed to create almost like kind of compulsively. Christine graduated around 2000, and this seems to have been the beginning of a long downward slide for her. The Group of friends she'd made in high school went their separate ways. Christine went to a local Community College and started studying, but she grew increasingly lonely and aware of the fact that other people were partnering off in her idiosyncratic diction. Christine calls this her love quest, dedicated to finding a sweetheart. As she started flirting with women, she found out that they all had boyfriends. As a result, Christine became obsessed with what she called the. Quote infinitely high boyfriend factor. She grew terrified of being confronted by the boyfriends of girls that she flirted with and decided to instead create a special method to flirt only with boyfriend free girls. This is like the the addiction she uses to discuss this. The end result of this idea was a sign that Christine created and would carry out in public. That said, I am a 21 year old single male seeking an 18 to 21 year old single female companion. This is like a sign that. They will walk around with it like school and stuff. Uh-huh. Other. Yeah. It's it's an interesting call. Yeah. Other variations of the sign read I am seeking a boyfriend free girl, and you get like the logic here. Like, she doesn't want to upset anybody, but she's very, very lonely and. Right. So in her mind, this is the logical way to go about doing that, right? Yeah. I wish better dating advice had been made available to her. Yeah, I do. You also have to wonder if, like, online dating. That existed more in its present form. Would maybe that have been a little easier? Or would people have just, like, picked out her profile and made fun of it on Twitter? Probably the latter. God, I'm like, I'm trying to figure out, is it like, is it better that I got my youth over with before the Internet? Or is it. Oh, definitely, definitely. The Internet's a nightmare. Yeah. Chris Chan would sit and that she starts going increasingly by. Chris Chan, in this period of time, would sit around holding or standing stand around holding the sign on her college campus, which did not go over well. The Dean ordered her to stop doing this as she considered this behavior. Technically soliciting sex, which I guess it kind of is. I mean, like, not in that way. Yeah. Like, yeah. I don't know. Maybe. Yeah. I'll say it's definitely weird. I can't say that it's like, inherently any more harmful than, like, the other ways people flirt on college campuses. No, it's substantially better than most of the things that, yeah, romance and sex on college campuses. It's not the worst way people are going about doing this thing with this context of a Community College. Yeah, if this was like a ROM com movie, she would be a side character. And then she'd found the other really nerdy girl. Yeah, there'd be another kid with a sign. And yeah, it'd be perfect. And that's the end. And that's nothing bad happens from here on. And that's the end of the show. So I it's thanks for coming on and happily ever after. That's the name of the show, right? Yep. This is the story of a weird person who everything ended well for. Hurray. Welcome to behind the basically nice weird people, a podcast that shouldn't exist. So after the Dean shuts down her her love quest, Christine becomes obsessed with the Dean whose name is Mary Lee Walsh, and starts writing the Dean into an increasingly elaborate comics as the bad guys. Christine slandered the Dean via an animated newsletter she distributed and was eventually expelled for a year. And this? It's like when I say this like a lot of it's like weird and violent stuff happening to this character, to this this Dean character who has the exact name of the real Dean. Yeah. Like really specifically violent stuff. Yeah. So, you know, maybe don't e-mail that to random people at your college because Columbine happened. Yeah. This is, this is post Columbine. So. Yeah, this is post Columbine. Yeah. People are people are not, like, chill about that guy, that thing, you know? Yeah. So Christine graduates in 2006 with an associates degree. She was briefly employed by a Wendy's for like 3 months, but could not get along with her manager or coworkers. So she fell increasingly further into her fantasy world, building an elaborate fantasy city named after her initials which CWC Ville or Quick Ville is usually how she'll pronounce it. And she put starts putting like these drawings and stories on her Myspace and her personal website in October of 2007, one user of the something. Awful forums brought up Christine Christian at this point, due during a thread about a separate online creator. During this time, goons would regularly find people making things online who are like weird, or the stuff they're making is funny bad, and then we're just, like, put up threads to marvel at it. Sometimes it was mean and mocking. Sometimes it was like, legitimately like amazed and fascinated. You can see both in the original thread, with people discovering Chris Chang's peculiar art style and her bizarre way of phrasing. Things in short order, a new thread was made by a goon who lived in Charlottesville and claimed to have seen her around. Quote. This person used to leave business cards at my school's library where they would hang out for hours looking for a boyfriend. Free girl. This is how I first learned of them from here. I developed something of it. It's it's it's this is the point at which it's hard not to laugh too, right? Well, that's the thing, though. That's why people start being fascinated, because it's so bizarre and like her ways of the idiosyncratic way she phrases things is. So, like, you kinda have to pay attention. It's just like, So what? And it's like, not there. There's a mix of, like, just people being mean and people just marveling at, like, well, that's weird, right? You know? And this is a different time in the Internet, when you start making fun of someone, or even just like comment marvelling at somebody on a website. The idea is not that this is going to, like, bleed into the real world, right? Right. Everyone knows that now this is 2007, so people are just like, hey, there's this website where when we see something different, we like post it to be like, what's going on here? You know, some of its mean spirited, but it's not all mean spirited. So yeah. To continue that quote, this is how I first learned of them from here. I developed something of an obsession culminating last summer when I made a special trip to a gaming store and local hangout where they would have posted they would be, they were every bit as, and then they used an offensive slur for autistic people as I had imagined. So this is what's interesting about this is that this is kind of the first piece of evidence you have and one of the first ones I remember from that period of time of someone not just being like, oh, look at this weird person that we're like, talking about on the Internet, but like, going to see them. Exactly, exactly. Super. That's that's an escalation, right? Yeah. It's it's like, it's like a huge violation. It's disgusting. Yeah. It's it's like a it's a whole thing that this is, this is like the first sign we get of, like, where things are going to go for the Internet. Yeah. So goons, which is what you call people on the forum this time, quickly fell in love with Christine, particularly the music videos that she had posted for a Parappa the Rappa contest, which is a. A rap video game so she doesn't post a video where she's doing a rap and people make fun of it right by this point, most of her comics focused around her quest for a boyfriend free girl, and included strange and unintentionally revealing sexual fantasies along with lines like these as the sign off on her website. Enjoy, learn and stay straight and then in all caps. I am serious. She doesn't like gay people. Yeah, yeah. It's just, it's so out of character for everything else that's happening about. Yeah, her life that she's, like, deeply homophobic. Yeah. I mean, she's, you know, raised by these arch boomers. Oh yeah. No, totally. And then I was like, and has decided to blame homosexuality for some of the trauma or whatever. It's just it's just so interesting because, like, other than that thing, you're, you're sort of describing my friend group in high school. Yeah, you know, like people, yeah, deeply weird, who fall into their own fantasy worlds and do kind of interesting stuff. And sometimes it's really cringy and sometimes it's really awesome and sometimes you can't tell which of the two is happening. And yeah, but I was definitely a weird kid who drew a lot of comics in high school. Yeah, yeah, like there's again, everything about her is just like 1 degree, kind of off from a million other people. And as a result, she winds up being a spectacle for the Internet, you know? So goons quickly latched onto the fact that Christine had lost a PlayStation wrapping contest and made a fake winner page for herself on the website, along with a somewhat unhinged rant about the injustice of the fact that they were the real winner. Or and like so, she calls the real winner the ex winner and accuses her of violating rules that existed only in her own head. She also mentioned going through quote Lonesome Depression and some goons in these original threads did make a note of the fact that she was dealing with some serious mental health issues. 1 user called Jokomo posted. I understand that Mary Lee Walsh is some sort of administrator at the Community College she attended and that she had her expelled, but what was it she did to cause that? Also, does anyone else think that a no contact order might be a good thing for her to have? I don't want to be a person who says, oh **** she drew a picture, lock her up, but she does seem to have a pretty focused animus towards her. Sustained. Over a period of time, she seemed to have a hard time letting go. If she sees herself as unfairly thwarted, maybe she will stick with making silly videos and comics for revenge. Which is like not an unreasonable when you look at like the degree of obsession over this person. Not an unreasonable like fear to have. And yeah, it it's it's worth noting that, like, if someone were on the Internet doing this stuff, if you just, like, suddenly became aware of someone posting and saying a lot of the same things that Chris Chan was posting in this. Today, you would think they were like in cell adjacent. Right. There's a lot of violent fantasies about harm coming to her enemies. There's a lot of obsession with sex. It does feel insane. Adjacent. Yeah, it it is, yeah. And it is. But that wasn't a thing back then. Again, this is like 2007 or so, and this is the only example of that. Concerned that I found other posters did note that Christine engaged in some semi stalkerish behavior and this is from someone who apparently lived in the area they found the stalking her. Just went to the garage because she's she's show. Yeah both sides of this are stalkers so far. Yeah sure. This is is someone who just says that. Like I have seen her around campus. I thought she was just, I just thought she was in an anime club or something. I never saw her with signs. I learned a lot more about her when she messaged my sister on Myspace and invited her out for a soda. She she declined and she became increasingly more harassing towards her until she blocked her. So OK, yeah, you know, that's that's where this story's going. That's why she's found. Right, yeah, yeah. Just be less creepy and you'll do much better. That's my dating advice, lonely listeners. Speaking of advice that, like, never helps anybody be less creepy doesn't seem to work much either. Huh? Yeah, OK, fine. Yeah, I think, honestly, I think both with dealing with bullies and not being creepy, the best thing that works is having good role models. Like people that you admire, who, like, are better at handling those situations than you that you then like, can see. Like, oh, that's a better way to do things than the way my brain is telling me to do things, and then you become a better person. No, that's true. That's part of cognitive behavioral therapy actually is modeling. Yeah, that's so that's what everyone that'll solve all problems. I'm glad we figured that out. No, I'm gonna crowdfund thing where we do just that and ignore all of the possibilities for dealing with these problems because that's how we solve problem. It is. It is actually a good solution. I'm not trying to minimize that. I've just no. Yes. All of these things are like. I do think part of why she's having so much trouble is that her parents seem to be completely withdrawn from the world. You know, her dad is retired pretty early on in her life. Her mom is this, like, quarter who hides at home. I don't think she gets any kind of adult modeling of, like, how to be in the world. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I don't think anyone. I don't think she has anyone who, like, she can look at and be like, oh, this is like how you deal with the conflict. Yeah, like this is how you negotiate, like, when you're having a disagreement. The person you know, this is how you approach someone that you're interested in, in a way that's like not threatening or or kind of harassing. I don't think that exists for her at all. Which doesn't excuse the fact that she is now stalking people and doing some, like really gross **** but it's also it's hard to see how this person could have easily learned. Like good ways to deal with stuff, either. Yeah, especially, yeah. Because when your friends are in high school, you're all making terrible decisions and doing things terribly. But if you stay friends with them, then at some point you can be like, oh, that's how you date. Yeah, you know. Yeah. And also, like, I think if you. Like everyone's gonna be a ****** person at a certain point in their life because it's hard to be a person yeah, who's not ******. It's a learning process for all of us. And I think the fact that Christine is going through these learning processes and posting everything that she is experiencing online, and it is increasingly being consumed by people who are now obsessed with her, makes it kind of impossible for her to change in positive ways. Speaking of death spirals, yeah, yeah, Speaking of death spirals. So the thing that commenters, and it's it's just something awful right now that's kind of obsessed with it. But the thing commenters are particularly delighted by is her sonichu medallion. This is like a medallion she's made out of some sort of like it's one of those kind of platos that you can like fire in an oven to actually harden it. She makes like a medallion shape, like the yeah scope, something like that. She makes him medallion shaped like the face of this cartoon character she's created, and she wears it everywhere, generally while dressed as ash Ketchum from Pokémon like she's like wearing. Specifically, that outfit like the striped shirt and everything. O goons are endlessly entertained by this and they also find her Myspace page which is filled with entries like this. To those who are reading this today, I was at the new target store across from Forest Lakes, just hanging around, not bothering anyone. And from out of the blue these two jerks asked me to leave because they said that I was loitering, I was not. I was there hoping to find an 18 to 23 year old boyfriend free girl like I usually do. Then. So that is lighter. I'm pro loitering but that is definitely loitering. Yeah. Then from out of the blue after I told them off they came back with two cops. I was slightly intimidated but mostly annoyed and ready to strike back on them. They asked me to leave and never return. I did not want to leave. I would have left peacefully. In fact I was ready to go. But I had one thing to say to them and during the middle of my speech they chased me, pulled my pants and pinned me to the floor. As I struggled they handcuffed my wrists and legs and they hog tied me. Not only did I feel humiliated. From being the victim. But I was angry at them, not only for handcuffing me, but for once again thwarting my efforts and trying to find a boyfriend free girl. They drove me to the county jail, but fortunately they did not keep me there. It was released to my family. That's hard. So I gotta admit that's. Yeah. Heartbreaking. **** the cops. Yeah, definitely not making the situation better. No. And I should note that I I have edited this slightly. Like, for example, she never says cops. She calls them jerk OPS, but and she has like different little terms like this for for people that she dislikes. If you read it all this way without being completely up to date on your Your Chris Chan lore, it it sounds like nonsense. So I'm, I'm I'm altering it somewhat for this to be understandable. But yeah, that's a bleak story, right? Yeah. Yeah. Like obviously a discussion should be had about when it is appropriate to walk around. Asking random people if they have a boyfriend. Free girls? Yeah, like we. That's certainly not ideal behavior, right? But I think being tackled and hog tied is not going to make that situation any better. No, because she would have left like she just yeah, based on the way that her mental state was working, she just had to call them jerk cops probably 1st. And then yeah, she had to like say some **** because she's the that that's kind of what's going on with her. But of course they're cops, so obviously they use egregiously excessive force on a mentally ill person. Yeah, yeah. You know who isn't a cop? Unless it's the Washington State Highway Patrol, again, advertising on the show. In which case. Definitely cops. Definitely cops. Do you think they do it ironically? Do you think that they're just like, I don't know, they're spending money, much money. I know, but they get so much of it. Yeah, it's it's really weird. Just like, hey, anyway, yeah, here's the Washington State Highway Patrol to tell you how to bully people who can't fight back. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. 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Ah, that was some great tips from the Washington State Highway Patrol on how to be brutally cruel to people who don't have the ability to fight back. I love it. Do you? No. What? Do you? It was probably just ads for other podcasts. Well, like the newest show on our network, the Washington State Highway Patrol cast. That's why you hired me. Yeah, that's actually a leak. That's Margaret's podcast. It's it's it's every week a new Washington State Highway Patrol Officer talks about their job while Margaret tells them. And I don't exactly elaborate ways they can fling themselves off the top of a building, but here's the thing. I can't even take this bit seriously because it's because they suck so much. Listen to our it could happen your episode on the Washington State Patrol or our like 3 episodes on the Chicago PD. Yeah, or the two behind the ******** as we did on Border Patrol. All we're saying is that our entire series called. Behind the pool, yeah. Every city in America you could you could dedicate, yeah, weeks and weeks and content. And not at the bottom. Yeah, yeah. Every city in America has a bunch of dudes with guns who would see a kind of weird kid with a sign and a medallion that they clearly made themselves and decide hogtying is the right answer to this, this problem. So yeah, uh, obviously something awful. In 2007, Compassion is not at the top of anyone's list and people start finding this stuff out, reading these stories. There's this kind of like awe at her peculiarities, in particularly her quest for a boyfriend free girl on Myspace. Chris Chan wrote in detail about her desire to find a quote. Soul mate Slash soul lover Slash mother of Future daughter, who she would name Crystal Christine's requirements for her girlfriend. Were specific and deeply offensive stating that she must be white or sometimes white bodied and normal sized to thin. Real ugly women need not apply, nor should the quote low, functionally mentally handicapped or autistic people. Although quote I myself am high functionally autistic, but that's beside the point. It's definitely beside the point. Yeah there is. There goes my like shred of she's not a good person though. No, she does fall into my category of like, well, how could she have been much better than this? Yeah, but not a just I I think there's a lot of blame. She has to be hearing this from her dad and her mom, right? Like, I don't think she would have picked up from ******* Sonic video games saying **** like this about people who aren't, you know, because you're supposed to be blue in that game, I think. Yeah. Been a long time. There's got to be a lot of racism she was encountering as a kid. And she just didn't quite get over it. I mean, she's an adult now, but yeah, she should have at this point. Uh, I guess messy. I don't know how to say I yeah. I'm not enough of an expert to pine about this is this is part of why. Yeah. People get obsessed with her because it's this mix of, like, this is what stops you when you, when you start, like, making fun of her and you start like these, even these harassment campaigns, she'll always say or do something really awful that makes it easy to keep going because then you don't have to feel as bad. Right? You know, if she weren't a person with some really ****** ** unpleasant things that she was doing and saying, it would have been harder for so many people to to keep this up, you know, which gets into really dark stuff about the ways that we choose to. Yep, people to demonize based on yeah, yeah, this is Kiwi farms. And when we talk about like, that kind of harassment is mostly a bunch of terrible people picking people who are generally not terrible and harassing them. But there is in the germs of the Christian, in the Christian story, there are the germs of, like, every time you get people forming Twitter mobs over some, like, stupid ******** to, like, destroy a person's life because, like, they didn't quite phrase something the way you liked it or because like, like, yeah, the same like. All of it has its genesis here. You can see every piece of it here. And some of it is just that, like, Oh well, she's racist, so let's let's keep making fun of her, you know? Right? Yeah, which for some people is perfect. Like, they're that's easy to justify and not necessarily in a bad way. I mean, like, sometimes it, but you can't make fun of someone for like, the Sonic Pikachu. You have to make fun of them for being white supremacist. But but it all just kind of blurs together. Yeah. For Christine and and the more than anything what people are laughing at is the fact that she's different, you know? Yeah like the totally the fact that she's racist and stuff is a part of it. But it's it's not the primary thing that she gets harassed over. Yeah. So once this is posted, a goon decided to reach out to Chris Jan writing quote. I just sent a little message to her on Myspace. Nothing mean. I'm genuinely curious on what she thinks about some things. Hopefully she'll. Like pretty soon. Although I have no ideas of time zones or anything, so this was immediately followed up by another gun expressing what a bad idea this was and quite by accident. Summing up the next 14 years of Christine's life. I know this is something awful, but at the end of the day she does have a disability. I took a quick glance at this and immediately felt sorry for her. It's a warts and all window into her lonely life. Her childish innocence clashes with her misguided attempts of acting grown up so badly it's disturbing and sad. Unfortunately, she can post on the Internet which means she can be ridiculed. Yeah, that's our break. So yeah, there's people who get what's going on. Yeah, you know? Umm. Yeah. Pretty bleak. So this is like before troll culture really? Yes, a little. This is the birth of troll culture, and so you can see how like, some of the people involved in the birth of troll culture weren't necessarily coming at it. They were coming at it from like, look at this person, this is weird, this is interesting like this art is is strange these because she has all these elaborate comics and people like just want to read them and like, you know? You can discuss, like, whether or not it's cool to do that, but it's not harassment to, like, find this person's posted their weird comics looks like, laugh at them, you know? Right. That's not necessarily abusive or harassing. It's just, like consuming someone's content, maybe in a way they wouldn't like, but they put it out there and you have a right to, like, feel how you do about it. Then it starts to expand to like, well, let's reach out to her in person. I want to talk to her, you know, I want to, like, see her. And there are people who were into the the ground floor of this where you just, like, marveling at this person's kind of weird. Maybe you who were like, well, this is a disabled person. You shouldn't be, like, reaching out to them and like, finding them in the real world and like, yeah, you. We could do a lot of damage here. There's like that, right? You seen that post? Someone being like, we could really do some damage here. This is a person who should not be ****** with, you know? So folks are aware of what some folks at least are aware of what could happen, and it keeps happening. While there were more something awful threads about Christine over the years, it was 4 Chan we're following her would develop into a subculture, and being 4 Chan people immediately took things way too far. Now Encyclopedia Dramatica was was new back then, and then once created a page for her, Chris Chan found out about her encyclopedia Dramatica page and if you know anything about this person. The worst thing that could happen is that she become aware that she has a page on Ed because she's not going to handle that. Well, yeah, I think she finds out because of one of her stockers emails her about it. And this is going to be the first time where she really fails to follow the good advice her middle school teacher gave her. Instead of ignoring the trolls, Christine starts making dozens and dozens of Corrections to the encyclopedia Dramatica page. Which is that rules not good call, yeah. Obviously, if you know anything about this articulation of the Internet, this is the best thing you could have done for the folks making fun of her. Unfortunate. Like, they're over the moon about this stuff, right? Because now they get to, like, make fun of her attempts at, like, defending herself and like what she says and all this stuff. They found it hilarious, like every difference she has, she would respond to incorrect claims about, for example, her sexuality by providing evidence to prove them wrong. So people would like joke that she was like gay or I think asexual. And so she would like provide evidence of her sexual fantasies to 4 Chan in order to yeah. Yeah, that's bad. Yeah. And and yeah. It's comprehensively bad because some of the evidence she has like a female friend at this point, like one of her first like one of her few like people that she actually can hang out with and be social with, and the evidence she provides to 4 Chan to show that she's straight is pornographic drawing she's made of this friend of hers that was probably really good for the friendship. Yeah. It does not go over well because Christine had previously, like, kind of expressed romantic interest in this person. And the friend had very gently been like, I don't, I don't, you know, see you that way. I don't want to, but I want to be your friend. And of course, she's rightly horrified when she finds out that her friend has provided *********** that she drew of them to thousands of strangers. That's a thing you you should be angry about. Bob's Burgers does this. Bob Bob's Burgers has ****** friend fiction. Louise, I think is. Oh yes, yes, yes. Yeah. Robotic friend fiction. Yeah. Is not a a winner in social circles. Don't post it online. You know, whatever you're gonna do. Certainly don't hand it to 4 Chan to prove that you're straight. Right. And yeah, Christine loses this friend forever. And of course, it is the funniest thing that these people who are now stalking her have ever, ever experienced. And and all of the terrible things. Only kind of escalate from there, but you know what? Doesn't escalate from here, Margaret. The episode because this is this is the end of part one and it's yeah time for your you're puggles. How you feeling, Margaret? I you know, like it's not that I feel like I got tricked into coming on to whatever. It's fine. It's fine. It's not like this is really close to home. Someone exactly my age. Who? Yeah, from the same part of the world. Like, weird. Yeah, ****** like behavior from like, classmates and like, well, here's the thing you can find literally. There's probably more we're building this. There is probably more written about Christine than any other figure in history. Like in terms of biographical information. I doubt there is more biographical information about, like, people like ******* Hitler out there. Well, and more. Like it is the degree to which people obsess over her life. It's insane, yeah. And nearly all of what you're going to find is, like, really, grossly voyeuristic and, like, mocking. Yeah. And I think this is an important story because it is kind of foundational to why the Internet is the way that it is and why Internet culture is the way that it is. Yeah. But, like, it's also really, it was really important to me in telling this story. You have to get into an uncomfortable level of detail. And it I don't want it. I didn't want to just, like, make fun of this person because I don't think that's good. I just. I do think this story is important because it builds to everything we're dealing with right now. No, I don't think you're making fun of her. I it's just no, it's. And then yet also, you know, the whole racist, homophobic thing is not. Yeah, it's not a good look for anybody, regardless of what they're dealing with. I I. Yeah, I wanted someone else who I felt like would. Kind of identify with the being, like, harassed and made fun of. Like, I was a weird kid who drew cartoons who have, like, the cartoons taken away from me from like a kid in class who would, like, read them and ****. Yeah, like, like, I get it. Yeah, I get like some of the **** that that she must have been going through. And so I have actually a lot of compassion for this person who is not a good person, but I think. You have to. Approach in a complex way. And it's unfortunate that like this this should never have been a person who, like, needed to be a a figure of kind of national attention. That is where this story ends. It ends with her on Tucker Carlson as a heads up. Yeah. God. Uh-huh. Yeah. Like, like this, this, this is this has blown up to the point and and it and it's found it again. It's so foundational to like Internet culture that I think you have to get into it. But like. It would be really easy to do that and just be like another two hours of people making fun of this person on the Internet. There's a documentary series that's like a couple 100 hours in length on YouTube that you can find like it's it's some, it's ******* crazy how much **** there is about this is, I mean, which is which is anyway. Yeah, I don't even know them. Yeah, we'll we'll explain all of that in Part 2, Margaret, but for now, you got to plug anything. Well, I have a show coming out. I don't know whether I, I don't know whether it's announced yet. Is it announced yet? Can I, can I announce we or no? We can. Yeah, let's do it. ****. **** our corporate overlords. Let's do it. We literally they have no say in this. What are you talking about? Well, let's pretend like we're sticking it to the man by me, alright? Yeah, **** the man. Yeah, that's why I'm signing a contract with you. Well, I have a man who's coming out called cool people who did cool stuff and cool people did cool stuff is about. Uh, well, it's about cool people who did cool stuff. Oh yeah, yeah. And and so people who like behind the ******** but. Don't like the ******** you know, I'm really. I'm workshopping the how to pitch this, but yeah, but yeah. So I have a new podcast coming out on May 2nd on Cool Zone Media. And other than that, you can find me on Twitter at Magpie Killjoy, or Instagram at Margaret Killjoy. On Twitter, I stir up fights that I now feel slightly more guilty for stirring up after listening to this episode and on Instagram, I talk about how much I love my dog. That sounds much better than. Literally anything we've talked about today. Go find a dog. Go take care of a dog's. Dog is exceptionally beautiful. Dog is good. Your dog is exceptionally beautiful inside and out. Oh my gosh. Thanks. Well, this has been fun. I'm glad we got to throw in a little middle finger to our corporate overlords. Take that. Yeah, the man. People who give us money whenever we ask. And let us do whatever we want. That'll teach you. That'll learn you. All right, go hug a dog. Behind the ******** is a production of cool zone media. For more from cool Zone Media, visit our website coolzonemedia.com or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. 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